Exchanging Truth for Certainty  

After several episodes of James White’s Dividing Line criticism of the Textus Receptus, Jeff Riddle posted a rebuttal yesterday. I plan to listen to the episode tomorrow but I had some feedback on the blog post itself first.

I’ve been listening to every single Dividing Line episode lately and I can tell you that James White’s use of Beyond What Is Written has been twofold:

  • He quotes Erasmus in his own words.
  • He shares historic facts about Erasmus and his work.

Jeff spends a lot of time in his blog post talking about how James is not consistent in his use of this book. But there’s no conceivable line of argumentation that could make those two uses illogical on the grounds of inconsistency. It’s just letting the facts speak for themselves.

Most of this blog post was “agree to disagree” territory for me1 until the final paragraph:

For now, suffice to say that I believe there are many good reasons to believe that the entire back-translation of the final verses of Revelation does not rest on solid foundations but was likely promoted beginning in the nineteenth century, like other anti-Erasmus anecdotes, in order to undermine the reliability of the TR in favor of the then-emerging critical text. That study, however, will have to wait for another day….

This part floored me when I read it this morning. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that Jeff Riddle has exchanged truth for certainty. He has to feel certain that his Scrivener TR is the infallible Word of God, and he must defend that at all costs, even if that paints him into a ridiculously narrow corner. I look forward to hearing this defense of the contention that Erasmus did not back-translate the last 6 versus of Revelation. There are only two ways I can see him going with this. First, he could try to argue that when Erasmus said he’d back-translated, he was somehow mistaken.2 Or he could try to argue that we’ve been misquoting Erasmus and that Erasmus never actually said he back-translated. As I’ve quoted earlier, Erasmus said, “I added [Rev 22:15-21], following the Latin codices.” Jeff would have to prove that this letter as well as the annotations are fake news and added later; that they were never actually written by Erasmus. If that’s not exchanging truth for certainty, I don’t know what is.

Good luck with that.

  1. For example, let’s say that Erasmus actually did have a Greek manuscript for his reading of Revelation 16:5. I think I speak for both James White and myself in saying that this knowledge would increase the chances of Erasmus’ reading being the correct one from 0% to, say, 5%. It wouldn’t be even close to enough evidence to persuade us to change the text. The mere knowledge that a solitary text existed — and was then lost to time — is not enough to trump the rich body of proof against it. Jeff only is concerned with proving that Erasmus could have had a Greek text backing up his emendation. A true textual critic who isn’t mired in ecclesiastical tradition would be concerned with not only proving that there is support for Erasmus’ reading, but that this must be the correct reading — that there’s sufficient proof across the full body of evidence to warrant this reading usurping the other. Whether Jeff realizes it or not, this is a first class example of the difference between someone who simply follows an ecclesiastical tradition versus someone who applies consistent textual criticism. The burden of proof is completely different. The traditionalist is only interested in proving a reading could be correct, however miniscule that likelihood. The textual critic is interested in proving a reading must be correct, given the currently known evidence. These are two completely different standards and criteria, and it’s no wonder James and Jeff constantly seem like they’re talking past each other. ↩︎
  2. This would be a contradiction in argumentation of Jeff’s rejection of the much-more-plausible argument that Jan Krans makes that Erasmus was mistaken in thinking his Rev 16:5 conjectural emendation came from a Greek text. It’s much easier to believe that Erasmus mistakenly thought he had a corroborating text but didn’t than it is to think that Erasmus mistakenly thought he had to back-translate Rev 22:16-21 but didn’t. ↩︎

Choose Between Your Faith and Your New Moral Values  

Allison King:1

I want to share with you my story about how the Archdiocese of Louisville’s LGBTQ discrimination affected me personally.

Last May, my 11-year school counseling career with the Archdiocese of Louisville was forcibly ended because I admitted to being married to my same-sex partner of 15 years.

I have a serious question for my Catholic friends who are embracing the moral revolution:2 where do you stand on this issue? You either must agree with the Archdiocese of Louisville’s decision to terminate Allison’s employment, and in so doing accept the fact that you’re living a lie when you indicate in general society that you’re in support of the moral revolution. Or else you must disagree with the decision, and thereby reject a major tenant of your faith in terms of its moral outworkings, and acknowledge that you’re making a major departure from your spiritual forefathers, one about which they made very grave statements. If the latter, what other things might they have been wrong about?3 What other parts of your faith are you willing to part with when it becomes socially expedient? Where do you get your truth, really?

Make no mistake: at some point, you’re forced to choose between your faith and your new moral values. They’re mutually exclusive and incompatible. Headlines like this one from the Courier Journal make that abundantly clear.

  1. As usual, Albert Mohler’s thoughts on this issue cut to the quick. ↩︎
  2. That includes just about every one of my Catholic friends. ↩︎
  3. This business of what your forefathers might’ve been wrong about should be especially worrisome to you as a Catholic, since unlike the Reformers, you do not believe in the objectivity of Sola Scriptura, and instead rely heavily — yea, primarily — on the traditions of the fathers. ↩︎

Social Justice Is a Threat to Human Rights and the Gospel  

Samuel Sey:

In South Africa and every part of the world today, social justice doesn’t fight racism, it fosters it. It doesn’t oppose sexism, it supports it. It doesn’t protect presumption of innocence, it protests it. It doesn’t defend rights, it destroys it. It conflates disparities with discrimination. It suggests people are guilty before proven innocent. It believes in the rule of leftism, not the rule of law. It believes in feelings, not facts.

This article appeared in issue 52 of The Sovereign Grace Messenger and the whole thing is so good.

Living in Sodom  

I had the privilege of preaching from Genesis 19 last Lord’s day at my church. Gave a Bible-based proof that God’s judgement of Sodom is still applicable in the New Testament era. Then discussed modern similarities to life in Sodom, and gave a summons to evangelize. Here’s the recording of that.

Did God Reinspire the Bible With Erasmus?  

James White:

There were numerous times where Erasmus actually translated from Latin into Greek. Not just the last 6 verses. There are other places in Revelation where he filled in by translating from Latin into Greek and created readings that are still in the TR today that have never been found in a Greek manuscript anywhere in the world. So if you are a TR-only guy, you believe that God re-inspired the Bible in 1516. You can’t get around it.1

A TR-only argument I hear is this: “Sure, maybe there’s a word we can change here or there, but overall, it’s still much more accurate that that corrupted Critical Text.”

Here’s the problem with that: once you’re ok with saying that there are parts of the TR that are wrong, however small, then you have to ask the question, what methodology do we use to fix them? What’s the standard? This forces you to do textual criticism. And if you want to apply consistent textual criticism, you’re going to have to reject a lot of the inconsistent weirdisms and eclectic readings of the TR.

Here’s what this looks like in practical terms. The majority of the arguments I’ve seen in favor of the Comma are defended based on the fact that it did make its way into the TR and because it was accepted for a few hundreds years thereafter. But the moment you’re willing to accept the fact that there are parts of the TR that are wrong, you’re admitting that Erasmus, Stefanus, Beza, Scrivener, and 300 years of church tradition can be wrong. If they can be wrong about a verse in Revelation, they can be wrong about a verse in I John. So you have to throw out all that line of argumentation and instead you have to focus on the merit of the arguments prior to Erasmus and his TR. And at that point, if you’re still trying to defend the Comma, you’re bringing a knife to a gun fight.

I think it’s a recognition of this that makes modern TR-only advocates so hesitant to change one jot or tittle of the TR. They know that the moment they do that, they’ll be forced to stop using traditionalism and be forced to deal with the real arguments in favor or against these hotly debated passages. And they know that the cards are all against them in a fair fight. So they capitulate to holding up Erasmus and his work to a pedestal he never intended, as clearly demonstrated by his own writings.

  1. James then proceeds to give Revelation 2:2 as an example of where, to this day, the TR has a reading that came from Latin and has zero support in Greek. ↩︎

Did Erasmus Back Translate the Last Verses of Revelation?  

Here’s a guy that actually rejects the notion that Erasmus back translated Revelation 22:16-21.

After quoting Erasmus where Erasmus literally said that he did this, Chris Thomas says this:

Looking at these quotes it seems pretty convincing that Erasmus back translated from the Latin Vulgate and put that in his printed editions.

Pretty convincing isn’t strong enough. To reject that Erasmus did indeed do this, as Chris speculates, is to outright deny what Erasmus said that he did. There’s zero room for ambiguous interpretation here in Erasmus’ writing. Chris goes on:

But here’s the problem. If Erasmus truly printed a back translation of the Latin Vulgate in his editions, then how do we explain the following:

At the end of the Apocalypse, the manuscript I used (I had only one, for the book is rarely found in Greek) was lacking one or two lines. I added them, following the Latin codices. They were of the kind that could be restored out of the preceding text. Thus, when I sent the revised copy to Basel, I wrote to my friends to restore the place out of the Aldine edition; for I had not yet bought that work. They did as I instructed them. What, I ask you, do I owe to Lee in this case? Did he himself restore what was missing? But he had no text except mine. Ah, but he warned me! As if I had not stated in the annotations of the first edition what I had done and what was missing.

So much for the supposed admission of back translation in his Annotations. The Greek for the last few verses (or just v 19 depending upon whom you read) was provided from the Greek manuscripts of the Aldine printers. The idea that Erasmus would emend his Greek text from the Latin Vulgate was contrary to the very thing he was producing: a fresh Latin translation! It is the height of absurdity to claim that he back translated from the Vulgate into Greek and then retranslated his Latinized Greek back into Latin.

This line of argumentation from Chris Thomas is truly bizarre. Let’s set the record straight. First, Erasmus explicitly admitted that he back-translated from the Volgate to acquire his first and second editions of his TR. Then, when he sent his 3rd edition to the city of Basel for printing, he requested that they fix Revelation 22:16-21 by using the Aldine edition, because he knew his had fallen short, but he didn’t actually care enough to do the legwork himself to fix it. The problem was that the Aldine edition was based on Erasmus’ original work. In other words, there was nothing to change in the 3rd edition for Rev 22:16-21 when incorporating the Aldine edition into Erasmus’ text. Erasmus wasn’t bothered by this, because he had a low view of the importance of Revelation (he elsewhere stated that we can’t know who its author is). Moreover, he wasn’t bothered by this because he knew he’d made this situation very clear in his annotations. He assumed you’d be reading his annotations alongside his text.

It’s bizarre how Chris Thomas is capable of missing this very clear writing on the part of Erasmus. Everything Erasmus wrote here undermines what Chris is trying to argue for.

What Happened to the Shepherd’s Conference Q&A?  

Jon Harris:

For some reason Wednesday’s Q and A is the only session of the conference, which, as I write this, has been removed.

I was wondering how James White was playing video on his show from this panel session. I’d been googling around like crazy trying to find it. Well, that’s why. They pulled down the most important part of the conference. 🤔

LDS Church Will Not Oppose LGBT Therapy Ban in Utah  

It’ll be interesting to see how long any religious entity stays relevant that openly embraces the LGBT agenda. You can’t have any meaningful belief in the Bible so long as you’re playing these kinds of games.

The Pending Storm  

James White:

But as the final protections of the vestiges of Constitutional government in the United States are either compromised through international agreements or just done away with internally by corrupt judges and legislatures, the technology we now possess will be used to shut down *all* dissent. It is how totalitarianism works.

I would be less inclined to agree with his aggressive timeline, if it weren’t for the fact that we’re seeing how quickly things are moving, and we saw how quickly things developed in Germany in the 1930s.1 Things are about to get real very soon for professing Christians who actually believe what they say they believe. For those who live in countries like Canada, the storm has already broke.

  1. See The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. ↩︎

The Great Debate  

This 1985 debate between Greg Bahnsen and Gordon Stein on the existence of God does not disappoint.

Does evil exist? Most everyone says it does. What is evil? Stein has to conceded that it’s a subjective standard set by the majority at the time. This is far from satisfactory.1 Bahnsen’s use of the transcendental argument makes it clear that God must exist because the alternative is an impossibility. The presuppositions necessary to disprove the existence of God are dependent upon his very existence in the first place. Without God there is no objective logic. Atheists must think in categories that presuppose God’s existence.

If God is all powerful and all good, then how can evil exist in the world? Bahnsen does a great job of refuting this question too. In the atheistic worldview, evil is subjective; there’s no such thing as objective evil. So when an atheist accuses God of being unjust, the atheist is using a subjective, and therefore irrelevant, standard. Once again, in order to accuse God of injustice, the atheist must first implicitly presuppose that there is such a thing as a moral standard that can be known and by which things can be judged, and that this moral standard is inflexible and universal. That requires belief in a God. The atheist is left with a self-refuting argument that rather serves to testify to God’s existence.

  1. When the majority of people in the United States agreed that homosexuality was evil a few decades ago, in the atheist worldview, did that make it evil? And if the majority of people agree that homosexuality is good today, in the atheist worldview, does that make it good? And if so, what might be deemed good or evil today that will be considered opposite tomorrow? This kind of relativity is absurd, but it’s the only moral code that the atheist is left with if he’s consistent. There is no right and wrong. There is only what’s popular today. ↩︎

Hebrews and Election  

Both these things as possible: that we can know with full confidence that we are God’s elect, and that we can take the warnings of Hebrews seriously and as being applicable to us.

We can know, without a shadow of a doubt, right now, that based on the work of Christ, our experience of that work, and our walk with him, that we are his elect. To the extent that we have this confidence, we can say with equal confidence that we are his elect, with full assurance.

With that said, our full confidence that we are God’s elect wanes with our confidence of our salvation. Our actual election does not waver, but our knowledge of it can.

Michael Brown’s mistake is to assume that, if we could achieve a full confidence today that we are God’s elect, that confidence could not wane, and that the warnings of Hebrews would become meaningless to us. In reality, our election status is immutable, but our knowledge of it is mutable.1 This fluid nature of our certainty in our election does not cast doubt on the certainty that God’s elect will be saved; rather it is a reflection that our knowledge of whether we are elect or not can ebb and flow. This is a very important distinction.

Our knowledge of who is elect is not based on a revelation of God’s secret will. If we had that, this entire conversation would be very different, and the warnings of Hebrews would indeed be void. God withholds this knowledge for a reason. If we had the original autographs of scripture, textual criticism would be unnecessary. Likewise, if we had a list of God’s elect, working out our own salvation with fear and trembling would be unnecessary. In both cases, God deliberately gives us work to do. It’s necessary, and it’s for our good. We would not want it any other way. God appoints the ends as well as the means.

We get into trouble when we go from knowing with confidence that we are elect to then later on wandering away from an active life of obedience to God under the glib assurance that we previously attained a perfect knowledge of our election and that therefore we’re immune to falling away. We can only be certain of our election to the extent that today, right now, we are trusting in Christ, which demonstrates itself in a practical life of obedience in love to him. Therefore, the warnings of Hebrews apply to us every day of our lives in parallel to our experience of a full assurance of our election. These two things are not at odds with one another. The day we stop “giving the more earnest heed” (Hebrews 2:1) is the day our confidence in our election wanes and we become in grave danger of the warnings of Hebrews.

Knowing with full confidence right now that we are God’s elect does not mean that we can lay the matter to rest and no longer worry about the state of our souls. The doctrine of election does not preclude our ongoing effort. The guarding of our souls against the powers of darkness is an ongoing battle until the end of the world.

The scriptures clearly teach the doctrine of election, the inability for the elect to lose their salvation, our ability to know with confidence we are elect, and our ability to fall away.2 Many people think those things are at odds with each other and therefore the scripture must be teaching something else when it talks about election. But that requires doing injustice to the texts. In actuality, these truths are not at odds with each other. They are all shown to be in harmony with each other in the explanation above.

  1. The same can be said in regards to textual criticism. The word of God is immutable, but our knowledge of it is mutable. ↩︎
  2. Again, the imperfect parallel to textual criticism is fascinating. We believe in the inspiration of the original autographs, the inability to lose the Bible throughout the ages, our ability to know with confidence that we have the word of God, and our ability to make mistakes in transmission. If this can be so with the Bible itself, why can it not also be true with the doctrine of election? ↩︎

Al Mohler on the UMC  

Today’s The Briefing by Al Mohler is on fire. I listened to it during my trainer ride this morning. It’s a sad indictment of the United States that the Methodist bishops abroad are the ones holding the line, whilst the ones here are wanting to throw out everything the Bible has to say about ἀρσενοκοίταις.

Frank Zindler Correctly Understands the Incompatibility of Evolution and the Gospel of Jesus Christ  

I’m reading The Unexpected Adventure: Taking Everyday Risks to Talk with People about Jesus1 and it mentions in pp. 121-125 this 1993 debate that William Lane Craig had with Frank Zindler. This by part of Zindler’s really struck me:2

The most devastating that biology did to Christianity was the discovery of biological evolution. Now that we know that Adam and Eve never were real people, the central myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there never was an Adam and Eve, there never was an original sin. If there never was an original sin, there is no need of salvation. And if there is no need of salvation, there is no need of a Savior, and I submit that puts Jesus, historical or otherwise, into the ranks of the unemployed. I think that evolution is absolutely the death knell of Christianity.

I have several Christian friends who don’t hold to a literal 6-day creation and a young earth. They admit in their view, death occurred before sin. This is a direct contradiction of Romans 5:12, and it creates a huge theological problem. It’s a shame when you have to agree with an atheist over Christians, but the fact remains: evolution is incompatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Zindler sees the problem, and he’s right.

  1. As with most good books published today, I highly recommend listening to the authors narrate it on Audible, but also buying a hard copy for reference. ↩︎
  2. This is my own transcript taken from about 50 minutes into the original audio, which fixes a word misplacement in the official transcript. ↩︎

Man Fined for Laughing at a Man in Woman’s Clothes  

Alexander Lawrie, writing for Edinburgh News:

“Your children should grow up understanding gender differences and would be ashamed at your behaviour that comes from a different era and has no place in today’s society.”

Sheriff Fife told Spiers to pay the woman £500 in compensation and also fined him £500.

That’s a total of $1,306.70 that a man must pay for mocking what God explicitly forbad in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 22:5, AV:

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.

People change. Man’s laws change. God never changes.

A Reply to the Rejection  

James White:

This debate needs to take place. Whether it does or doesn’t, I will continue to critique Textual Traditionalism as a dangerous retreat on the part of the Reformed community.

Agreed that this debate needs to take place. I’m hopeful something can be worked out.

The Proposed Debate Rejected  

Jeff Riddle, yesterday:

Here is our response to James White’s challenge:

First, we do not believe that a pre-conference debate would serve the purposes or goals of this conference, which will be to offer a positive presentation of what we respectively refer to as the Canonical Text (Robert Truelove) or Confessional Text (Jeff Riddle) position.

A debate has the potentiality of undermining a core purpose of the conference. It makes sense that Riddle is leery of having a debate at the opening of the conference. White should be willing to have this at a different time.

A Debate Proposal

On Saturday, February 16, Jeff Riddle published Word Magazine episode 117 in which he dealt with the conjectural emendation of Revelation 16:5 that appears in the 1598 Beza TR. In that episode, he also had a number of things to say about James White.

This morning, I listened to a good chunk of WM 117 out of curiosity on my way to work. I got farther into it than I thought I would, due to a delay with a 4-vehicle accident on the highway. By the time I finally got to the office this morning, I was really curious what James White would have to say about it. So, I pinged him on Twitter:

@DrOakley1689 Hello from Oklahoma! Got to shake your hand back in December. Jeff Riddle, who I greatly respect but disagree with, has some interesting things to say about you and Rev 16:5. http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=21719025102658 Would love to hear your response on DL. Maybe even guest him?

White replied:

That’s disappointing to hear.

I would think 100% Greek manuscript agreement is a dividing line between scholarly analysis (no one questions the original reading, honestly) and commitment to a traditional position.

But I’ll take a listen.

On my way home, I finished up WM 117, fascinated with Riddle’s fresh translation of Beza’s Latin, but curious why this has not been talked about before if it’s a viable translation. And then, as I was putting on my running shoes to go on a 4.7 mile run in the 38°F rain, I got a push notification on Overcast, informing me of a new episode of Radio Free Geneva, titled NIFB Arguments Reviewed, the Ecclesiastical Text Movement Examined. The second half of this episode is incredible. In it, we learn of a Facebook discussion in which Robert Truelove announced a Text and Canon conference on October 25 and 26, 2019, in Atlanta Georgia, hosted by his Christ Reformed Church.1 Both he and Jeff Riddle would be speaking at it. White is proposing that he debate either Truelove, or Riddle, or both of them, at this conference. It remains to be seen whether they accept his proposal or not. I’m certainly hoping that they will. If it doesn’t overlap with other traveling I have going on that month, I’d love to go and hear that debate live.

The entire second half of that Radio Free Geneva episode is super important but this part really struck me:

You make the same mistake that the Muslims do in looking at Metzger’s title. Corruption does not mean destruction. It means there are textual variants. No question questions that there are textual variants. Nobody. Nobody in the early church. And if you question there are textual variants, I don’t even know what to say at that point.

Anyway, I’ve been struck with how incredibly quickly these conversations can develop thanks to digital transmission.

  1. This is not to be confused with Jeff Riddle’s very similarly named Christ Reformed Baptist Church of Louisa, Virginia. ↩︎

Alternate Readings  

Dr. Theodore P. Letis:

As for the footnotes in the modern versions, they seem to be questioning the authenticity of every other verse with comments such as “not found in some ancient manuscripts” or “some manuscripts add,” without offering any explanation as to the value of these optional readings, or the various manuscripts they come from.

This tends to leave the average reader (unconsciously perhaps) with a doubtful attitude regarding what he can consider authoritative and in some sense final.

That rhetoric sounds great, until you remember that the original King James Version had this very thing. Luke 17:36 is a hotly debated passage and in its original 1611 printing of the King James Version, we read this:

This 36 verse is wanting in most of the Greek copies.

Here’s a scan that proves this. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when people use an argument to defend a point of view that on its own grounds cannibalizes their contention.

Missing the Forest for the Trees  

This 2009 debate between James White and Bart Ehrman is mandatory listening for anyone who is even mildly interested in textual criticism. A few key thoughts that I keep getting struck with as I listen to this.

First, Bart Ehrman has completely missed the forest for the trees. He’s got a few gray area passages in his head, a couple hundred thousand typos, and he’s throwing up his hands in despair with the cry that we have no way of knowing what the New Testament actually said. In no other aspect of life would he do this. It’s akin to saying that because you got your friend’s birthday off by one day, you can’t be sure if you really know anything about them. That’s missing the forest for the trees. Bart’s spent so much time studying minutia that it’s gone to his head, and he’s completely forgotten the big picture.

Here’s the greater issue though. Bart has taken God’s place and asked this question: “If I were God, how would I go about preserving my revelation to mankind?” Bart’s human-centered subjective answer goes like this: “However God would go about it, I can be sure that God would not do that would be by using fallible men who are capable of making copyist mistakes.” Bart has put a limit on God, and decided (whimsically and sheerly on his own — a very defiant and prideful thing to do) that he knows what God would and wouldn’t do. This is not following the truth wherever it leads you, as he insists that it is in the debate. Rather, it’s exchanging the truth of God for a lie. It’s going down a “Yea, hath God said?” rabbit trail of self-deception that will ultimately lead to a rhetorical “What is truth?” that cannot be satisfactorily answered.

This is exactly the kind of mistake we see objectors making in Romans 9. It’s a failure to identify who the potter is and who the clay is. God is winning the game of truth with a self-imposed handicap. That handicap is mankind’s own imperfection and ability for error as he copied the New Testament by hand for the first ~1,500 years after Christ’s ascension. And even with that self-imposed handicap, God is preserving his word. The tenacity of the scriptures remains unbroken. The original autographs are with us today. We possess 1,100 pieces for the 1,000-piece puzzle of the New Testament.

Bart Ehrman, writing about this debate:

I wasn’t sure whether I should post this debate or not. Frankly, it was not a good experience. I normally do not have an aversion to the people I debate. But James White is that kind of fundamentalist who gets under my skin.

I feel very sorry for this man. To touch the most sacred word of God for all these decades and to reject it all. If he doesn’t return to God, there will be few men in hell who know more about the scripture than he.

A Weird Way of Doing Things  

James White, about 1:38 into a DL episode a few days ago, talking about J.D. Greear:

He has this weird way of doing things where he’s got this notebook type thing. I don’t know if this is a Southern Baptist thing or what, but he’s just whipping through this stuff. I actually downloaded it — I have it here. There’s actually a PDF of the outline he’s got up there. It’s a weird way of doing things.

You can see this for yourself in the video. Quite a hipsterville way of doing things.

Update: Ok, he gets them from here, it turns out. Those are actually … very cool.

In the Social Justice Community, It Is a Sin to Not Wed a Same Sex Couple  

Faithful America describes itself as the “largest and fastest-growing online community of Christians putting faith into action for social justice.” Dr. Voddie Baucham described them during at this year’s G3 conference. The movement is worth looking at with your own eyes. Here’s one of their “achievements.”

Pennsylvania United Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer was put on trial and defrocked for officiating at the wedding of his gay son. But after local Methodists made headlines with a petition signed by 35,000 Faithful America members, his bishop publicly committed to do everything in her power to prevent future trials, helping prompt other bishops to make the same promise. (Schaefer’s defrocking was ultimately overturned on appeal.)

The dividing line of true Christians who live Sola Scriptura and those who do not is quickly becoming stark.

How to Mishandle Romans 1  

James David Greear, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, in a recent sermon last month:

Let me say something very clearly: Homosexuality does not send you to hell. And here’s how I know that: being heterosexual doesn’t send you to heaven.

The conspiracy theory that the SBC has been capitulating into worldliness and compromise has gone from being something that the spiritual Alex Jones of the community have rumored about into being a full-blown reality that’s impossible to ignore.

And yes, Jon Harris shreds Greear’s exegesis — or rather eisegesis — and we’re all looking forward to when James White will do the same.

Intersectionality Is a Sinful and Rebellious Concept  

I am getting around to listening to all the recordings from the G3 conference. This one by White is savage from the get-go. He demonstrates that the Woke movement is nothing more than a return to the world’s age-old racism and division and that the only cure for true God-approved equality is the gospel.

There Is No Such Thing as a Sin that Only One Group of Humans Is Capable of Committing  

Zyxl, in a Twitter thread that James White started yesterday:

Can men commit the sin of intentionally drinking large amounts of alcohol while pregnant? Can young children commit the sins of paedophilia? Can an orphan disobey their parents?

What this person fails to understand is this: we do not all have equal opportunity to exercise a specific outward manifestation of a sin, but we do all have equal depravity to perform that sin in our hearts and in other outward ways. Sin begins in the heart, and at the root of all sin is a failure to love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourself. Because of varying circumstances, not everyone can demonstrate that failure in exactly the same way. But that’s very different from saying that some groups of people are incapable of committing certain sins. The sin that’s at the root of drinking large amounts of alcohol while pregnant is something anyone can be guilty of. People like Zyxl are confused about what sin truly is from God’s perspective.

I like how 19_mo_86 said it:

While I’m not surprised at the secular world being confused on this simple point, I never dreamed genuine, bible believing, orthodox, Christ following people would be just as confused. This is so basic! I’m at a loss here.

This is where we’re at, folks.

Jesus Quotes a Dead Sea Scroll in Response to John’s Disciples  

I am listening to The Case for Christ on Audible right now, which I very highly recommend. In one of his interviews, Lee Strobel goes into Jesus’ reply to John’s disciples in Matthew 11 and points out that his “the dead are raised” part isn’t a quote from Isaiah 35 or 61 because it’s just not there. But it is to be seen in a Dead Sea scroll which leading papyrologists date to around 30 B.C. Jesus wasn’t just quoting the Nevi’im. Among other things, this provides authenticity, as though any where needed, that Matthew 11, which we’ve had for almost two millenia before uncovering this Dead Sea scroll, records the very words of Jesus.